TeknoSurf tries bold payout plan

Associate Programs Newsletter #23


1. TeknoSurf's bold payout plan
2. An intriguing amateur sells charcoal portraits
3. OK, I'll recommend a program
4. Why I've demoted Web Cards
5. Autoweb.com increases payouts this month
6. Give Virtual Merchant a rest
7. Lookers and dreamers shop at AIS
8. Corey Rudl is now No.1
9. Snippets

1. TeknoSurf's bold payout plan

John Ferber, CEO of Maryland-based pay-per-click service TecknoSurf AdWave, has launched a boldly aggressive payout structure obviously aimed at signing up a lot of new people in a short time - and he tells us to expect even more dramatic offers.

Bach Systems recently introduced a two-tier program which pays you a commission on the earnings of people you refer, which has a lot of appeal.

In comparison, TeknoSurf will start giving you quick dollars straight away.

On a pay-per-click basis, TeknoSurf pays from 5 to 20 cents. Now, you also earn $5 when you persuade a webmaster to join the TeknoSurf network. Also, under the two-tier commission structure, when that webmaster refers someone (who is approved), you earn $2.

TeknoSurf has other interesting features. Its banner serving technology "actually learns from your site and displays the ads that earn you the most - taking away all the guesswork".

It also offers the "best stats of any pay-per-click company", says John, free 24-hour tech support, instant ICQ contact, and a new lower minimum monthly payout of only $US25 (rolled over if necessary).

TecknoSurf has just revamped its site and is busy creating all sorts of new developments. Within the next few months, "the Tekno AffiliateWave will turn the world of affiliate programs upside down," John promises.

He has also announced MegaZine - without giving any details yet - and says it is "going to be one amazing revenue generating opportunity for every webmaster".

John says TecknoSurf is the "fastest growing pay-per-click network in the world". I'm not surprised. My online stats show I've started earning a few $5 payouts already.

[UPDATE: TeknoSurf is now Advertising.com. Bach was renamed onResponse and bought by ValueClick.]

2. An intriguing amateur sells charcoal portraits

I saw the totally forgettable URL of this new program - members.aol.com/jatki71017/PartnerProgram.html - and decided immediately that I really ought to have a rule banning amateurish free sites from listing their programs in the Associate Programs Directory.

However, I decided to take a quick look and changed my mind - for a while, anyway.

Nancy Atkinson is a self-employed, self-taught artist who creates delightful charcoal portraits. She obviously has a lot of talent.

There's no self-replicating site on offer and not even an online form. If you want to join the program you have to e-mail Nancy (no, I don't get paid for saying this) and tell her:

1. Your name

2. Your street address (where to mail your checks)

3. Your  complete e-mail address

4. Your website address (if applicable)

5. How you found her (i.e. Search Engine, Surfing, Brochure, etc.)

JAtki71017 AT aol.com

Oh dear! Hundreds or thousands of webmasters appear to be madly signing up for virtually every new program which comes along. I can just picture Nancy frantically coping with all her e-mail instead of sketching. I hope she has a well organized filing system.

Nancy's charcoal portraits would make a delightful addition to your Christmas gifts idea page. Grandpop and Grandma would just love a sketch of little Johnny, wouldn't they?

Or for those newlyweds you know - how about giving them a sketch of their new house?

Nancy draws her sketches from photographs, and offers a few helpful hints on choosing a photograph to send her.

"Women are beautiful when they are filled with joy and/or love. Find a photo that captures that," she says.

"Men love seeing themselves as responsible thinkers. A photo of a man deep in thought makes a wonderful portrait."

And on children: "Boys are more likely to enjoy that shot that shows their missing two front teeth than girls are . . . there are exceptions, know your child!"

Nancy charges $US100 for a basic portrait sketch and she pays a fairly ungenerous 5% commission. (I think it would be much easier to earn $5 referring a webmaster to TeknoSurf.)

As an incentive for people to include your referral code, Nancy gives free shipping and handling if they do.

I don't have a referral code yet. Perhaps this will work instead: "I heard about you from AssociatePrograms.com."

Good luck, Nancy! I hope you do so well that you'll be able to increase that commission rate - and buy a memorable domain name instead of

By the way, anyone on a tight budget who wants to set up an associate program: I suggest you contact Craig Belcher

He will set up a professional looking program for you at a budget price of only $US250. I recommend him.

3. OK, I'll recommend a program

Ginny Grein writes:

Hi Allan

Could you recommend a good associate program to me?

Ginny Grein

I see you're advertising Jim Daniels' excellent introduction to marketing, "Insider Internet Marketing". It's a great program for sites about marketing, but I doubt if it's the best choice for your site. That book is perfect for my site and has always been in my Top 10 programs - http://www.associateprograms.com/articles/160/1/Best-affiliate-programs

For your site, which is obviously aimed at women, you may like to try this AIS program:

Never pay full retail price again:

It's like DOUBLING your standard of living
without earning a dime more. Right now,
you can take advantage of thousands
of overstocked, over-manufactured,
refurbished, distressed merchandise at
amazing SAVINGS of up to 70% to 90% OFF

TVs, VCRs, designer watches, jeans,
computers, software, CDs, stereo equipment,
sporting goods, and more. Drop-shipping
available worldwide. Dealers welcome.
Find out more now.

[UPDATE: The AISMedia affiliate program closed.]

(Feel free to cut and paste that if you like - just remember to change the URL or I'll make money instead.)

You can promote the program with or without using a banner and you can promote it in email, too.

This is one of the two-tier AIS programs - you sign up for one and you are automatically signed up for all of them. Oddly enough, I've done best selling this one while I wasn't promoting it. I was promoting the AIS merchant facilities, but while people were exploring AIS they found and signed up for this one.

If it doesn't work for you, Ginny, switch to something else. A lot of people have found that it's very difficult to predict how well a program will perform on a site.

Tom Harpointner of AIS says: "Please note that if you are testing to see what location or what banner pulls the best at your site, you must leave it there for at least 3000 impressions to get an accurate ratio of click-throughs."

However, perhaps your first priority isn't signing up for new programs but figuring out ways to increase the traffic to your site.

You can find a huge list of good traffic-building advice at:

How To Attract More Traffic, Customers,
and Revenue To Your Site

[UPDATE: Those WebMagnet tips have vanished.]

4. Why I've demoted Web Cards

Joe Haedrich's Web Cards have topped my list of Top 10 programs for months but I've decided to slide them down a couple of notches to third place.

The product - a colorful postcard with a picture of your site on it - is still excellent. You can send them to relatives, customers, clients, the news media etc, etc to promote your site and new sections of your site.

And it's easy to earn commissions. As well as earning 10% commission on sales, you earn $1 every time someone asks for a free sample. A huge advantage is that you can recommend the free samples via email.

It may be a coincidence, but my commissions have slumped badly since the recent reconstruction of the site.

Also, I've received several complaints from people who can't find the page where affiliates sign up. It's not easy:

Click on my link
Click on Free Samples (and ask for a free sample).
On the page containing the form where you ask for a
free sample, Click on Home Page (It's at the BOTTOM of the
page and it's NOT the same as Back to Home).
Click on the graphic which says "Make Money With Your Web Site".

Isn't that weird? I suppose Joe is trying to get you to explore the site thoroughly. I suspect people going there from my site are getting so frustrated trying to find the signup page that they are not prepared to ask for a free sample.

Anyway, let me emphasize that it's an excellent product and you can feel good about suggesting people ask for a free sample.

[UPDATE: Web Cards had a good product but ruined its image by spamming.]

5. Autoweb.com increases payouts this month

From the Associate Programs Message Board:

By Leonard Farneth on Wednesday, November 4:

I recommended AUTOWEB http://www.Autoweb.com a while back. That month I had accumulated about $150 in referrals. For October the number was $426 and now they upped the payout 25% for November. Looks like I will be over $500 a month on this one. They are great with the stats, and a real joy to work with. They now are paying $2.50 per lead and $6 per car ad.

I know I have an advantage with a site like mine (usedcar.com) but I firmly believe autoweb is a great boost for almost any site . . .

Leonard Farneth

Jason A. Yelowitz writes:

Hi Allan

I administer the Autoweb.com Affiliate Program. For the month of November 1998, we are offering our affiliates an additional $.50 per new or used car purchase request, and an additional $1 per private owner ad on top of what they are already getting paid. That's an additional 20% to 25% for the whole month . . .

Jason A. Yelowitz

6. Give Virtual Merchant a rest

I keep seeing ads here and there around the Net for Bill Long's Virtual Merchant. Do these people know something I don't? I have 22 possible sales recorded with Virtual Merchant - all of them still "pending", according to my online stats. One of those "pending" sales dates all the way back to August 28.

It's fun to dream about 22 x $150 = $US3300 but dreaming doesn't pay for groceries. I contacted Virtual Merchant and asked for an update on those "pending" sales.

Here's the reply I received on October 19: "Thank you for your inquiry. I will attempt to get an update for you on all your applications."

I'm still waiting . . .

I reported ages ago that Bill Long was struggling under an avalanche of 700 emails a day and needed a rest.

Please give it him.

7. Lookers and dreamers shop at AIS

So what about the Virtual Merchant's competitor that I've been testing - AIS? I suspect it has been tainted by the Virtual Merchant fiasco. My sales of merchant facilities have been much slower than when I was testing Virtual Merchant.

If you are promoting AIS merchant facilities, seeking that amazingly generous $US175 commission, don't expect miracles. You could find that you get a fair proportion of lookers, dreamers and "not ready yet" people who sign up and make your online stats look good - for a while.

I've had eight possible sales, three of which have been declined. The other five are all still pending, one of them dating back to September 29. At least with AIS you have some clue about what is going on: online notes saying things such as "3 messages with no return calls", showing that AIS is trying to turn those applications into sales.

However, I'm having much more success with a couple of other AIS products:

Secrets To Making Money On The Information Super-Highway
The iLynk Wholesale Network

I find it fascinating that I sold several of the iLynk service while promoting the merchant facilities.

At this stage I'm keeping AIS high in my Top 10 because of these two products, not because of the merchant facilities.

So far, I've received one small check for my first 12 days. I'll let you know if another one arrives.

[UPDATE: The AISMedia affiliate program closed.]

8. Corey Rudl is now No.1

I've put Corey Rudl's hefty marketing manual, "The Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet" No.1 on my Top 10 list. It's without doubt the most useful Internet marketing manual I've read - and it is consistently my best money earner. My recent earnings have been more than $US1000 a month. Corey's best associates earn more than $US5000 a month. And the program is FREE to join.

I've criticized Corey's manual in the past because it includes information on how spammers do their dirty work, but I was delighted to see that in Corey's latest email to me he says: "We will not tolerate spamming of any sort . . . We are not with an ISP that will tolerate spamming."

So you can recommend Corey's marketing manual with confidence. It's the best there is, and the associate program is my best money-maker by a long way. That's because the generous $65 commissions add up quickly.

I strongly recommend it.

If you haven't found Corey's sign-up page yet try

[UPDATE: Corey died in a car crash but the company is still doing well.]

9. Snippets

Adding music, videos
Barnesandnoble.com will sell music and videos next year.

Exclusivity clause
Andrew Starr of http://www.emailman.com points out that barnesandnoble.com wants to be the exclusive bookseller on your site.
[UPDATE: B&N has dropped that clause in its agreement.]

A site that bites
Donald Ayers, who didn't include a signature, says: "The Barnes & Nobles Affiliates site bites! It is much too time intensive to build a bookstore bit by bit. Lately, it's almost impossible to generate a simple banner. I'm seriously considering jumping ship to an easier to manage program."

50% commission
Richard Hauf recently increased the commissions at AShoppingGuide, which sells merchant listings in the directory. Affiliates are now paid a highly generous 50%. Commissions range from $US25 to $US500.
[UPDATE: This site has vanished.]

Jim Reardon of http://www.freecenter.com says that Safe-Audit seems to be doing a lot better on his site with payment for signups (as you know, they offer $5 per signup). "Last month I got only 2 signups (fairly bad) - this month I'm up to 20 (fairly good)."
[UPDATE: Safe-Audit vanished.]

Testing... testing . . .
I reported that NextCard Internet Visa was trying out LinkShare and ClickTrade. Well, it's also trying out Safe-Audit (paying $10 per sign-up). It will be interesting to see what NextCard does after all the extensive beta testing is over.
[UPDATE: NextCard collapsed.]

Microsoft snares ClickTrade
LinkExchange says it has "merged" with Microsoft. So mighty Microsoft now controls ClickTrade, which LinkExchange bought a while ago. I hope than means that the ClickTrade system, which is open to abuse by shonky advertisers, will be improved. At the moment an advertiser can switch from a high to a low payout, or can have "insufficient funds", leaving webmasters unpaid.
[UPDATE: Microsoft abandoned ClickTrade.]

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and you can subscribe for your Free Newsletter and place your Free Ad.

All the best

Allan Gardyne

November 6, 1998

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